The quarterback looks to his right before the snap. His receiver, in a scarlet uniform, is being covered tightly by the opposing team’s shutdown corner. Hiking the ball, he quickly takes a three step drop. Not seeing any reads he likes, he dodges the oncoming pass rush with an almost supernatural presence before firing to his tight end for a 14 yard touchdown. The box score?
Shazam to Superman, 14 yards. Touchdown.
Backstory time. This idea started out as a random, fantasy football draft until the person at the end of the first round decided to draft Batman (a decision which he later regretted, and subbed him out for someone who wasn’t just a guy in a suit). Naturally, this lead to quite the escalation, with people like Shazam, Quicksilver, the Flash, and Juggernaut quickly going in the next few picks. It’s not all chaos, as might be initially surmised.
The rules are as follows:
- Don’t talk about fight club.
- Wait, ignore number 1. That’s not a rule.
- (or is it 1?) Only heroes. (An exception was made for Juggernaut, because of arcs/storylines where he was part of the X-Men)
- Each player must be a two way player: offense and defense.
- Aside: This made for some interesting positions at the end of the draft (When the author needed an OT and a CB for the same player.)
- Only Marvel and DC characters
- Normal NFL rules would be enforced, with the head referee of Charles Xavier. He will know if you commit a foul.
- This is an important note, because despite one player’s insistence, this means that the Hulk cannot, in fact, simply punch a weak link.
The teams we created were as follows.
Shazam — QB/LB
Can’t say enough how glad I was to steal Shazam for my quarterback. Speed of Hermes, Strength of Hercules make for a physical paragon. Combine that with flight, and the wisdom of Solomon ensuring he doesn’t make bad throws? Hard to top the World’s Mightiest Mortal.
Superman — TE/LB
While many would argue that the Kryptonian would be better served on a strength position, having a super-strong, super-fast target that doubles as a blocker just couldn’t be passed up. Shazam to Superman would make one of the highest scoring combos in the SPNFL (SuperPowered National Football League)
The Flash — WR/CB
The fastest man alive simply makes too much sense as a receiver and cornerback. The ultimate deep threat and a shut down corner. A speedster is absolutely a necessity, so taking the most famous one was a steal.
Balder — WR/MLB
The Norse Pantheon’s counterpart to Hermes may not be as fast as the Flash, but he’s always going to be one of the fastest players on the field. Pair that with Asgardian strength and stamina, and he’s an incredible receiver in the Calvin Johnson mold. His tactical knowledge and leadership make him the perfect defensive captain.
I will preface my next two picks with the forewarning they are quite unusual. Given the nature of the offense, however, they will be valuable contributers.
Leech — FB/NT
This pick makes more sense with the knowledge of what my opponents’ teams were. Leech has the ability to selectively cancel out the powers of nearby mutants. We’ll say it’s within a 10-15 yard range, ensuring that as a nose tackle, mutants will only function as a wide out, and as a fullback the opposing team’s Quicksilver (and other mutants) is neutralized except in coverage down the field.
Mystique — RB/FS
While Mystique clearly lacks the incredible physical abilities of most of the other players, she has her guile and ability to shape shift working out for her. Mostly working on trick plays in the offense (Don’t tackle me, we’re on the same team!), her strength comes in as a cover safety, shifting to an opposing WR to supposedly “Break free” for a nice interception.
Hercules — OT/DE
The strongest member of the Greek Pantheon makes for an excellent tackle, as strong as anyone and with enough nimble to maneuver well enough.
Colossus — OG/DE
After Colossus had his metal skin improved by Magneto, his strength was drastically increased (elevated to the strength level of 7 or class 100+, according to the various Marvel standards), making him a fantastic guard to anchor the line.
Wonder Woman — C/SS
Although the ever increasing powers of Wonder Woman (pretty soon she’s going to solo Darkseid and Braniac at the same time) are a source of ire, I am more than happy to put her to use. Speed and flight make her a fantastic SS, anchoring the field to watch for deep threats while putting a hard hit on any ball-carriers that break free. As my center, her near Superman level strength and agility ensure she isn’t bull rushed without a fight.
Ben Grimm — OG/DT
While he isn’t as strong as the Hulk, the ever lovin’, blue eyed thing has a determination and fighting spirit that is unequaled. He’ll never quit, blocking his man until the whistle is blown.
Green Lantern– OT/CB
Remember how I mentioned that awkward OT/CB player? Well, this is him. It could’ve been worse, and I was rather surprised GL lasted until my last pick, but it worked out. His versatility in creating mazes and walls will negate speed moves, although power moves are a vulnerability. As a corner, he can’t match up to speed guys (That’s what the Flash and my ultra-talented linebackers are for), but guarding technique guys will be just fine.
(I won’t go into as in depth analysis for the other teams, but I’ll highlight points of notice)
Cyborg — QB/DE
Spiderman — C/Safety
Hulk — OG/DT
Angel — WR/S
Horus — WR/CB
Ironman — OT/LB
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) OT/DE
Cyborg as a QB can’t go wrong, being one of the few members on either team to actually play football at high level (shout out to the Grimm Reaper). Precision aim and an arm like a cannon. Hulk as an OG is an obvious choice, just watch out for the potential fouls. The powerback Juggernaut is one of my favorite picks (granted, it required an asterisk), but when he gets going, it’ll take an awful lot to stop the Avatar of Cyttorak.
Hawkeye — QB/Safety
Martian Manhunte — RB/CB
Nightcrawler — Receiver/CB
Thor — OG/DE
Hulkbuster — OG/DT
Captain America — TE/MLB
Kid Flash — WR/CB
Hermes — WR/CB
Luke Cage — OT/DE
Red Hulk — C/DT
Supergirl — OT/LB
While Hawkeye lacks the ridiculous arm strength of the other two QBs, I doubt he’ll ever throw a pass where he didn’t mean aim. Nightcrawler was almost even more dangerous before Leech had his say, as taking the snap and then teleporting to the end zone every play would’ve been a thing (but it will be against player 2). Captain America gives the defense the best edge in terms of tactical ability, and he’s a solid, ultra-athletic playmaker over the middle. I like the late-round steal of Supergirl to round out the linebackers in the 4-2-3-1 scheme.
While it might be hubris, I like my team the most. But let me know which team you think is the best in the comment section!